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Checking the reputation of a Catholic tour company

This can be a difficult task. There are several means you can use to verify that the tour company is right for you. Firstly, if you are interested in a Catholic tour or pilgrimage, be sure that is what is offered. Obviously there are many fine protestant or secular tour companies but they are not going to give you the Catholic perspective and in some cases may be outwardly hostile to our Catholic Faith.

Mention code CTguide and get a $100 discount from Select International
Mention code CTguide and get a $100 discount from Select International

1. Our best suggestion: recommendations from those who have traveled with this company in the past is probably the most reliable way to choose a Catholic tour company. This is especially true if you happen to know the people giving the recommendation. You can get first-hand information on what services were provided and whether they would meet your expectations. If they have a group leader or priest going along you can contact them and ask them if they have traveled with that company previously and get first-hand information on what to expect.

2. The Better Business Bureau: Although this is a good resource, the Connecticut Attorney General’s office once took action against them charging that they automatically give higher ratings to those companies that belong to the Bureau than those that do not. The BBB has agreed to change its rating policy. So you should probably take these with a grain of salt, but still consider them to be fairly reliable.

3. Travel review websites: sites such as TripAdvisor.com are a source many people use to check out companies, hotels, etc. These reviews again must be taken with a grain of salt. Obviously a person who has had a good experience is not as likely to post anything here as someone who has a complaint. So if you only see one or two complaints it might not be a good indication of a problem. If you see a hotel or tour company that has a majority of complaints then you might want to take them seriously. And, amazingly, one person may give a tour company a bad rating and the next person give it a great rating, so it really can be confusing.

4. Comments posted on the tour companies’ websites from past travelers can be reliable; but of course, again you have no idea of how many negative comments may have been discarded. We encourage you to visit our forum for tour company reviews. And we hope you will add to the reviews once your travels are over.

5. And let’s face it, things can go wrong even with the best tour operator. So take that in to account when reading reviews. Buses can break down, fellow travelers might be sick and the itinerary be interrupted a bit, you might not get along well with your roommate or a host of other problems. As they say, “offer it up”.

A certain part of the travel experience depends upon your attitude when things don’t work out the way you expect. That is why we continually talk about having realistic expectations and being flexible.

6. Finally, in making your decision, check out their itinerary before making your decision to be sure it meets with your expectations. Click here for advice on how to evaluate an itinerary.

6 thoughts on “Checking the reputation of a Catholic tour company”

  1. We went on a pilgrimage last year thru Faith Seed Catholic Pilgrimage to Petra,Jordan, Jerusalem, Israel, Egypt and a stopover in Dubai before returning to the US. Very nice pilgrimage.

  2. We want to travel to Fatima, Lourdes, Normandy, Liseaux, Burris, Loyola, And two days in Paris . Can you recommend a good catholic company . Catholic journeys had a 2.5 / 5 but only had two reviews . Why is that ?

  3. My wife is going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land with In Your Name Lord Pilgrimages and I haven’t been able to find any reviews or outside information. They are based in Chicago

    • While we cannot comment on a particular company, hopefully the suggestions on this page will help. If you have the name of the priest traveling with the group, then you might try to contact him. Likewise, ask the tour company for references….they should be happy to supply them.

      Also bear in mind that sometimes individuals may be group organizers, and use a name such as “in your name” but actually are booking their tours through another larger company. For example Jane Smith might choose the name “travel with Jane” when actually she is just rounding up people to go (most group organizers get a free trip in exchange for a certain number of people) and actually the ticketing and all arrangements are done through a tour company. Nothing wrong with that at all,
      but it is a bit confusing sometimes.

      By all means, please let us know how things turn out.

  4. We cannot vouch for them, but have not heard of any complaints. They appear to be a travel agency that books tours through other companies. You might check with whomever is organizing this tour. What Diocese are you in? They may have some feedback as well.

    If you are a U.S. resident, I would think it easier to work with a U.S. based company.

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